A new international terminal at Multan airport, Pakistan, will now enable citizens to take direct international flights.
Expansion work for the new terminal, which began in 2010 during the tenure of former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, was aimed at facilitating accommodation of wide-bodied aircraft including Boeing 747 and Boeing 777, to cater to direct international passengers and cargo flights.
With 30,700m2 in covered area, the terminal has a composite steel structure with double halls, as reported by Geo TV.
Carried out in two phases, the first phase saw investment of about $2m to upgrade air side facilities including runway taxiway tracks and apron, while the second phase recieved around $7m that involved construction of new terminal building and allied facilities.
The new 10,500 feet (900 feet overrun on both sides) runway of the international terminal has a width of 150 feet (25 feet shoulders on each side). It can accommodate aircrafts such as Boeing 747, 777.
The newly designed apron will be able to handle two wide bodied and two narrow bodied aircrafts with an area of 36,356m2.
The new terminal will have four bridges out of which two have already been completed. Its new car parking will have a space for 400 vehicles.
The government hopes that the expansion will boost the exports of fruits, particularly mango, as the airport now boasts a new cargo complex with a storage capacity of 10,000 tons, reports Dawn.
Geo TV quoted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who inaugrated the terminal, as saying that since Multan was a major agricultural and industrial centre, it would greatly benefit from direct air linkage with the rest of the world which would have a positive impact on the national economy.
The airport can now cater to one million passengers annually from an initial 0.1 million. The expansion has also provisioned for cargo handling capacity which could be increased by 30,000 metric tonnes per year with the passage of time.